A club gets ready for a gala Summerfest It will be a four-day festival that includes a mega carnival, live entertainment, food, road race, vendor exhibition and fireworks, all of which attract the entire community.

The helicopter rides, a popular attraction at the Athol-Orange Rotary Club’s Summerfest last year, will be offered again at the Athol High School.
The helicopter rides, a popular attraction at the Athol-Orange Rotary Club’s Summerfest last year, will be offered again at the Athol High School.

The Athol-Orange Rotary Club’s (Massachusetts, US – D 7910) family friendly Summerfest is shaping up to be an entertaining four-day event.

“This is all about being a community event,” said Rotarian William Kessler.

“We want everybody to enjoy it. It creates memories.”

Kessler said there will be a carnival, live entertainment, food, a road race sponsored by the Athol Area YMCA, vendors and fireworks on Saturday, June 23, at 9.30 pm.

He said the carnival, first owned by Wilmingston resident Sam Cushing, who operated it at the Summerfest for the Athol Lions Club for many years, is “a reputable carnival. It’s clean, with courteous workers.”

His son, Larry, has taken over the operation and Larry’s son, Peter, is involved as well.

The carnival opens Thursday, June 21, from 6 to 10 pm.

One-price wristbands for rides will be sold Thursday evening and Sunday from noon to 4 pm.

On Thursday and Friday, tickets will be sold. A discount may be found for tickets on the Athol-Orange Rotary website.

Athol Police Chief and K9 Gronk will be on hand. Gronk stickers will be sold to help defray the cost of the dog.

There will be live music the first three nights. There will be a 5K road race/walk sponsored by the Athol Area YMCA.

Proceeds will benefit the “Partners With Youth” programme, which supports children’s memberships and camperships to Camp Wiyaka and Camp Selah.

Food booths include the All American Caterers, which will be open Friday night and all day Saturday and Sunday, offering a chicken barbecue.

The Athol Fire Department will serve sausage sandwiches.

The North Quabbin Lodge of Masons will serve lemonade and will sell glo-sticks the night of the fireworks.

Local churches will set up booths, including the Starrett Memorial United Methodist Church and Athol Congregational Church.

“We need more churches to participate,” said Kessler.

“We also need more Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops to participate, women’s clubs, other groups. Anyone interested can contact any Rotary member or Deb Allain-Thomas.”

Kessler said the fireworks show was “impressive” last year. It was put on by Athol native Bob Mallette.

The organisers are seeking a sponsor for the dunk tank.

He said he would “love to see the Boosters there. Maybe they could run a Las Vegas tent. It’s one thing we haven’t had.”

He noted there is no entry fee for the fireworks. “We want everybody to enjoy it.” Commemorative buttons will be sold.

Helicopter rides will be offered by CR Helicopters of Nashua, NH, and Sunday morning will open with a car show sponsored by the North Quabbin Cruisers at 9 am.

“They give an incredible (helicopter) ride,” said Kessler,

“Ten minutes and you get to see the entire area. They treat us very well.”

The music is being sponsored by Kimball Cooke Insurance and MAPFRE Insurance.

“The community is always so generous,” said Kessler, who added the Athol-Royalston Regional School District is easy to work with to set up the event. “We are very careful with the fields.”

The Athol Fire Department is assisting with the lighting and electrical needs.

“We have good people working with us, and we try to make this as safe and fun as possible,” said Kessler.

The primary sponsor is Pete’s Tire Barns Inc of Orange.

Other sponsors include local banks — Athol Savings Bank, Athol Credit Union and bankHometown.

Source: Greenfield Recorder

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